The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2019

Local Optimists list Essay Contest winners

VW independent/submitted information

The Van Wert Optimist Club recently held its annual essay contest, based on the topic: “When All the World’s Problems are Solved, is Optimism Still Necessary?” Three Van Wert High School students were honored during the March 14 Optimist Club meeting while presenting their essays. 

Shown (from the left) are third-place winner Ryan Chen, second place winner Kaylee Jennings, and Alixandra Gemmer. Optimist Club photo

Winners include Alixandra Gemmer, who won first place and was awarded $300; Kaylee Jennings, the second-place winner who received $150; and third-place winner Ryan Chen, who was awarded $50. In addition to winning the local contest, Gemmer’s winning essay was submitted to the district level for further judging. Medallions and certificates were also presented.  

VWHS Language arts teacher Nancy Brown and school counselor Stephanie Hanneman attended the club meeting with the three winning students.  

“These students did a great job expressing this year’s tough theme,” said Optimist Essay Committee Chair Diana Cearns. “Also, special thanks to the judges for their time and talent.” 

Judges this year were Bitsy Clark, Kylee Moody, and Kathy Foust. There were 57 essay entries from VWHS, Crestview, and St. Mary’s students. 

The Optimist Club of Van Wert is a member of Optimist International — worldwide volunteer organization made up of more than 2,500 local clubs whose members work each day to make the future brighter by bringing out the best in children, in their communities, and in themselves. The local club consists of community leaders and area business representatives dedicated to improving the Van Wert area.

POSTED: 03/19/19 at 6:55 am. FILED UNDER: News